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Carmelo Anthony shows the one thing keeping the Knicks from being taken seriously

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) January 8, 2013 Celtics News, Kevin Garnett 26 Comments

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

My apologies for taking a quote from the civil rights movement and using it to speak about basketball,  but the brilliance of that quote is how it stands the test of time, and situations.

Last night, Carmelo Anthony displayed that in a time of challenge and controversy, he’s still the same old selfish Melo, despite all the rah-rah back-slapping going on in New York in this early season’s comfort and convenience.  When the Knicks were finally challenged by a playoff atmosphere, by the punches in the mouth, both figurative and literal, they followed their leader over the cliff.

There’s no doubt last night’s officiating favored the Celtics.  That’s not to say the calls were one-sided at all.  But it seemed after five minutes, the officials collectively decided that calling every foul would lead to a four-hour free throw contest, rather than a tw0-and-a-half hour NBA game.  So they largely swallowed their whistles, and let both teams just hammer the hell out of one another.

For Boston, this is Nirvana.  If there was ever a team in the NBA that needed a “Fight Club” to feel alive, its these Kevin Garnett-led Celtics.  You have your coffee to wake you up before work, the Celtics have hard fouls and expletives to wake them up.

So when the refs threw their hands up and said “you guys figure it out,”  the Celtics shut the lid on the pressure cooker and turned it way up.  And in the end, it was the Knicks who exploded.

That’s the funny thing about pressure situations.  No matter who you pretend to be, no matter where you pretend to be it, the pressure will make you revert to who you really are.

While the elbows, knees, pushes, and trash talk turned the Celtics into a complete ball-moving, ball-hawking team, it reverted the Knicks into a bunch of guys with capes, playing hero ball in an effort to beat the Celtics themselves.  When Anthony, the newly-named Player of the Week, splashed a late 3 after a game full of misses, he spent the entire return trip yapping in Garnett’s face “I’m coming back… I’m coming back… I’m coming back….”

Not “we’re coming back.”

I’M coming back”

The next trip down, Melo barely let everyone cross half court before heaving a three.  It missed.  And the pressure mounted.  Time and time again, shots flitted off of Melo’s fingers and off the rim.  He shot 2-10 in the fourth quarter.  His final made field goal of the quarter came at the 8:52 mark.

And through it all, he and Kevin Garnett kept talking… and kept jawing… and kept elbowing…

The double-technicals did little to stop it, but it was KG who managed to keep his composure… talking just enough to keep pouring gas on Melo’s fire, but not enough to get him into more trouble.  There was a point where Anthony violently slapped the ball out of Garnett’s hands after a whistle, and referee Tony Brothers paused as if he was going to give Anthony a second technical foul, only to decide he didn’t want to throw him out of a close game.

In the end, he did the Celtics a favor, and Melo a disservice, because Melo’s rage had at that point gone beyond his control.  When the final buzzer sounded, he raced back towards the Celtics locker room rather than his own.  And while none of the players or coaches would snitch, there are reports that he was outside the Celtics locker room making a scene.

And then this happened.

Hours after the game, at a point where guys have iced, gotten massages, showered, spoken to the media, gotten dressed, and started tweeting… Melo’s rage was still boiling to a point of confrontation.  The immaturity and selfishness just haven’t gone away.

You can excuse, as KG said, “heat of the battle,” stuff.  When the testosterone is pumping and you’ve got nearly 20,000 fans going crazy, it can be hard not to get caught up in the moment.

But this.  This is different.  And this is why the Knicks, as good as they are, give everyone pause when asked if they’re serious title contenders.

Oh, they have the talent.  They’ve shown they have the ability to beat anyone.  But what they lack is the ability to rise above the muck.  Because last night was playoff basketball at its finest.  Even Knicks fans, while upset with the loss, enjoyed the hell out of the game.  Those games will happen again.  And Melo will lose it again.

You can chant MVP all you want, Madison Square Garden, but MVP’s don’t stalk guys to their team bus.  Because that’s who he is.

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  • Grandad434

    Melo will always be a ‘me-too’ and not the man. The Truth can go off and score like crazy but he also finds the open man. Until Melo can figure out the art of sharing, this Knicks rebirth is a flash in the pan. Great win for the Green!

  • Chris 2.0

    So I’m assuming if Rondo got a one game suspension for bumping a ref than this asshole should get at least 5 games for looking to instigate a fist fight?
    What a punk.

  • Double P

    Great game last night and great column!

  • Noori

    Not related to the article but it seems the Bucks fired their head coach. Its looking like the nets and bucks are in shambles make a clear path to at least the 6th seed in the east.

  • Chief

    Never been a big fan of melo….even less now

  • http://msnhotmail.com belinda

    This just a shame, I mean Melo dished out just as much as KG, so i dont see a problem. Melo ego was hurt because he thought they were going to run all over the celtics, especially with Rondo being out and it didnt happen, they ened up clowning him in front of his team and the fans in his house, oh well keep it moving, just say next time im going to be ready, but to wait for these guys at their locker room and team bus, come on, let it go, Is this not what zack randolph got in trouble for, following kendrick perkins to the locker room? If this was Rondo, he would be out the league by now!

    • Grandad434

      I should haope that Melo is suspended for this. If Rondo can get an after game suspension for ‘bumping’ a ref and the above mentioned Z-Bo/Perk ruckus then yes, Melo should get suspended for the lockerroom run and suspended seperately for the bus altercation. If that doesn’t happen, then just wait and see how these clowns take advantage and you’ll be hearing more and more situations like this. Not safe and this is not streetball.

      • http://msnhotmail.com belinda

        I totally agree, your fans should see how you get excited about a win but also show true sportmanship when you lose! I dont dislike Melo but this could have been a dangerous situation, and a selfish act, what about the people around you who didnt care who won and your putting them in danger, these are some big guys and it takes alot to restrain them.

  • Larry Legend

    Melo acts a lot like a pg I know…

    • http://msnhotmail.com belinda

      Yeah, spike lee!

  • Danno

    Apparently, KG told Melo his wife tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios.

    • LA Flake

      lala vasquez? now she looks like a plastic person!

  • Double P

    I’m hearing KG said to melo “your wife LaLa tastes like honey nut cheerios” any truth to this?

    • Stephanie

      Is this for real..lol. Link?

    • http://msnhotmail.com belinda

      Its called trash talk, Melo knows this, they all do this, trash talk is just as much a part of basketball as the ball is, it must be something going on with Melo at home for whatever words kg said to really effect him like that. Kg has been in the league for 17 years and EVERYBODY knows this is apart of his game, Melo was upset for more than these words, he just felt disrespected, i get it, but it got the job done, the game won, both players should have left that on the court, its not worth the money Melo is going to have to pay out!

    • KY Celts fan

      well, that’s not offensive. it’s odd but not offensive.

      maybe it means something different in the black community, but if someone used that line on me as trash talk, I’d be more confused than angry.

      • Grandad434

        HAHAHA!

      • Double P

        Haha my thought exactly. Only thing I can think is maybe KG has had some intimate time or knows ppl who have with LaLa and melo would certainly need to defend his wife and manhood. Needless to say, the trash talk worked.

        • Grandad434

          Gotta love KG. He is the main reason I watch this game!

  • Sheets

    Why is it that you think you need to apologize for using that quote. Who are you offending?

  • Stephanie

    Was I the only that seen when Rondo walked up and said “Damn, please don’t get suspended for just standing there” ?

  • TommyPoints

    First off, this was one of the best articles I’ve ever read on this site. Secondly, Carmelo should divorce and hit up Tonya Harding…they would have a great future together…

    • Larry Legend

      Haha and adopt Rondo. That’s quite a family

  • terlo

    oxford thesaurus had put melo’s picture across the definition of “sore loser”, i hear

  • http://msnhotmail.com belinda

    okay, so i just read on a blog where LaLa and Melo have been separated since last year, now i see why Melo was so upset, KG hit a REAL nerve and probably didnt even know it…………………… This mess is like a soap opera!!

  • ghoulbuns

    Honey nut cheerios??? Thats what made him mad? Bahahahahaha thats not even an insult, thats comedy